Bryan Hawkins

Bryan Hawkins

Bryan Hawkins honed his trial skills in a San Francisco volunteer program in which he assumed the role of a deputy district attorney and prosecuted a variety of crimes. As a Sacramento litigation associate, Bryan’s practice focuses on complex business, employment and environmental litigation matters. He has significant experience defending employers against wage and hour claims (both individual and in the context of class actions) and claims arising under Title VII, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is listed as a “Rising Star” for Business Litigation by Northern California Super Lawyers® from 2011 to 2014.

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California Supreme Court Clarifies California’s Day of Rest Statutes

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the California Supreme Court answered three questions from the Ninth Circuit concerning California’s “day of rest” statutes.  The Court’s decision clarifies a significant ambiguity for employers regarding the obligation to provide employees with their statutorily mandated day of rest. Mendoza involved a putative class action filed by former Nordstrom employees alleging … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Prohibits Employers from Implementing “On-Call” Rest Breaks

In Jennifer Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., the California Supreme Court determined that employers are prohibited from implementing “on-call” rest breaks.  This holding led the Supreme Court to reinstate an approximately $90 million judgment against the defendant employer. The plaintiff in Augustus worked as a security guard for defendant.  Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that defendant’s … Continue Reading

Expanding Overtime to Farmworkers: Will California Start a Trend?

On September 12, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1066.  The bill, which is the first of its kind in the nation, will entitle California farmworkers to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers in California. California law defines employees “employed in an agricultural occupation” broadly to include any employment relating to … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Once Again Rejects California’s Attempt To Void Class Arbitration Waivers

In DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, a decision released this week, the United States Supreme Court rejected the California Court of Appeal’s interpretation of a binding arbitration provision that would have rendered unenforceable a class arbitration waiver provision.  In doing this, the Supreme Court once again affirmed the primacy of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and … Continue Reading

Anti-Arbitration Bill Approved by California Legislature

* October 11, 2015 Update: Governor Brown announced he has vetoed AB 465 On August 27, 2015, the California Assembly approved AB 465. The bill, which was approved by the California Senate on August 24, would prohibit California employers from requiring most individuals to enter into arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment. For … Continue Reading

California Court Limits Defenses Available to Employers Requesting Employee Background Checks

Background checks can provide California employers with vital information concerning their employees. In order to protect individual privacy rights, however, the California legislature has created two separate laws governing the procedure for such checks: the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (“ICRAA”), which generally governs reports concerning “character information,” and the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act … Continue Reading

AB 1897: California’s New Labor Contracting and Client Liability Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1897 thereby creating new liability for businesses that engage in labor contracting.  Current California law prohibits employers from entering into labor or services contracts with a construction, farm labor, garment, janitorial, security guard, or warehouse contractor, if the employer knows or should know that the agreement does not … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules Employers Must Reimburse Employees For Work Calls on Personal Cell Phones

The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc.  was simple.  When employees must use their personal cell phones for work, California law requires employers to reimburse them, regardless of whether the cell phone plans are for limited or unlimited minutes.  This decision, however, could have a wide ranging impact … Continue Reading

California Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1522 (the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014”) and made California the second state in the nation (after Connecticut) to enact a state-wide law requiring most California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.  This marks the latest development in a growing trend that … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies When a Franchisee’s Employees Can Bring Employment Claims Against the Franchisor in Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC

In Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court restricted the ability of a franchisee’s employees to sue the franchisor based on theories of vicarious liability and the theory that the franchisor was an “employer” under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). With this decision, franchisors can breathe a sigh of relief as … Continue Reading

New California Law Provides that Sexual Desire Is Not a Required Element in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

In a same-sex sexual harassment case, does the plaintiff need to prove that the alleged harasser’s conduct was motivated by sexual desire?  Under SB 292, a law signed by Governor Brown a few days ago, the answer in California is "no."    A key question when dealing with a sexual harassment claim under California’s Fair Employment … Continue Reading
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